West Devon Borough Council has urged people to remain safe when swimming in open water during the Easter holidays.

The advice to remain safe and stay visible is issued to all water users, whether weekend bathers, paddle boarders, canoeists, boat users or intrepid wild water swimmers, particularly as the weather begins to improve and temperatures gradually start to rise.

The council’s director of place and enterprise, asks water-users to take extra care and reminds swimmers to always swim where boats and other water vessels are expecting you to be, stressing that remaining visible and only swimming in designated areas are both key to remaining safe.

The RNLI’s key safety advice when swimming in open, outdoor water includes: do not allow your family to swim alone, float to live by leaning back and extending your arms and legs if you fall into the water unexpectedly - fight your instinct to thrash around, if in doubt, stay out, take plenty of warm clothes for before and after your swim, along with a hot drink to help you warm up again for when you come out of the water, wear a wetsuit to help increase your buoyancy and reduce the chances of suffering cold water shock and always call 999 if you or someone you are with is in danger.

Chris Brook, director of place and enterprise at the council said: ‘As we start to embrace the warmer weather and the holidays begin, it is important that we take extra care when enjoying water-based activities.

‘Being prepared and aware in and around the water is essential and families should take extra care when looking after children.

‘Whether enjoying the beautiful lakes and waterways here in West Devon or visiting the nearby coastlines, we wish you a wonderful break.’

You can find more information on beach safety and how to enjoy cold water swimming on the RNLI website.